Aviation regulator reinstates Pakistani pilot licence holders

A number of countries had announced their decision to ground Pakistani pilots and ban Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from operating flights in and out of their countries. (AP pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has reinstated the licences of 18 Pakistani pilot licence holders in the country, after suspending them earlier this month following a scandal over fake documents by pilots in the republic.

CAAM CEO Chester Voo said all Pakistani pilot licence holders who are currently employed in Malaysia have been verified as valid by its Pakistani counterpart.

Voo said a request was sent to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) for the verification of the Pakistani pilot licence holders.

“Upon confirmation from PCAA on the authenticity, all Pakistani pilot licence holders in Malaysia have been reinstated immediately,” he said in a statement.

On July 2, CAAM temporarily suspended Pakistani pilot licence holders employed in Malaysia, following news that over 30% of pilots from the republic held fake licences.

CAAM also said the suspension followed similar action taken by a number of countries that have announced their decision to ground Pakistani pilots and ban Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from operating flights in and out of their countries.

Regulators barred PIA from the European Union for six months after the state-run carrier grounded a third of its 434 pilots for holding fake or dubious licences.

The decision follows an inquiry into a PIA crash in May which saw 97 people killed. It was then revealed that about 150 of their pilots had “dubious licences”.